National Campus Life Network > Blog > Clarissa Luluquisin

What Commodity Culture Means To This Pro-Lifer

Clarissa Canaria, Central Campus Coordinator

What comes to mind when you first hear the word “commodity”?  I am sure that a wide array of products or natural resources that are bought and sold come to mind.  In any case, what should not come to mind are human beings.  Sadly, our culture reflects otherwise.

Commodity Daniel JVM

A few weeks ago, NCLN hosted an event in Toronto called “#CommodityCulture: Rescuing our Campuses from Rape Culture, Porn & Abortion” in Toronto.  Before the evening, I had never thought about these topics together, believing that because each had their own roots and reasons, it would be a bit challenging to link them.  However, two things I heard that evening from our wonderful guest speakers stuck with me, forever cementing the interconnectedness of the topics in my mind.

“When we can objectify the person right in front of us whom we can see, we can very easily objectify the pre-born child that we cannot see.”

This point made by Jonathon Van Maren (CCBR) around the beginning of his presentation was as clear as day to me.

If the acts of rape and watching pornography are performed by persons who justify the objectification of another human being as a means to satisfy their lustful desires, then why should we expect a pre-born child, whose humanity is hidden within the womb, to be seen with any sort of dignity?  The child is merely an impediment to pleasure, and because we can pretend that it’s “not really there yet,” our own desires take precedence.

Discussing the issue of abortion with the culture would be much easier if everyone we talked to understood the concept of their value as a human being.  But this task becomes much more difficult when our culture accepts or ignores the use and abuse of so many.  It became much more obvious to me that because of the way certain born human beings are being used, the pre-born child could easily be forgotten and dismissed.  Where do we go from here, then?

“The pro-life movement is the answer to fighting commodity culture.”

I heard these words stated at the end of Daniel Gilman’s presentation and it was a concept I needed to grapple with.  I thought to myself, “Wow, that was a bold statement – how can that possibly be true?  We have such a big task already with just dealing with how rampant abortion is.”

I think the problem was that in my mind, I was still categorizing the three issues separately.  We have to remember that the people we speak to about abortion may be hindered from seeing the truth of its destruction because of our commodity culture.  These are people who are exposed to, subjected to, and/or have participated in the commodity of human beings, whether by being addicted to porn, having been a victim of rape, or taking part in pornography or the rape-culture.  So those of us who do see the truth of abortion in spite of the commodity culture need to know what we are up against.

This event emphasized the fact that rape-culture, porn, and abortion contribute to a commodification of human beings for the purposes of pleasure and convenience in any of its disguises.  These three cultural poisons are infecting university and college campuses across the country in great numbers.  Being aware and educated on what we are exposed to is a sure way to remind ourselves that trying to change hearts and minds is about more than trying to save the next generation from abortion, but also to save our own generation from the lies of our commodity culture. 

Check out “Porn Fuels Rape to read more about Jonathon and Daniel’s work.

If you’d like to get involved in Summer Activism in the Toronto and Vancouver areas, visit our Summer Activism page or contact central@ncln.ca !

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5 Steps to Making the Most of Your Tabling Event!

By Clarissa Luluquisin, Central Campus Coordinator

 As NCLN’s Central Campus Coordinator, my job involves getting my boots on the ground (specifically winter ones in this weather).  I trek to campuses across the province to train and assist pro-life students in their outreach, and my favourite project to help with is the club information table.  

What can be better than engaging with a person one-on-one, hearing their thoughts on abortion and responding to their concerns, and thanking them for taking a moment to speak to you?

Can you tell that I’m an extrovert?

Although events like debates and movie screenings can be very impactful, the information table marks the start of many personal relationships of the pro-life club’s members with soon-to be club members, as well as engaging with students who are not informed about abortion.  It is pro-life activism and recruitment – all packaged into one easy event! 

How you begin these relationships matter, and in maintaining these relationships, your club has a greater opportunity to grow.  And the more it grows, the more people there will be working alongside you to spread the pro-life message.  This engagement is all the more important with lives on the line.  

Check out our information guide on tabling here, and also find my 5 suggestions:

TWU Tabling Event

1. Create an eye-catching display board with a variety of resources on the table.

Make an event out of it with your Exec too – no need to do this all on your own.  And if you’re short on resources, contact your local campus coordinator and you’ll be sent a bunch for free. Don’t forget to print out a sign-up sheet too!

2. Start all conversations with a kind smile.

People want to talk to people who are friendly and approachable, and this is harder to do on some days, with all that you have on your plate.
Think of laughing babies and joyful mothers if you need some motivation! 🙂

3. Speak with compassion and conviction.

Asking someone how they feel about abortion can bring up a lot of different emotions in a person.  Whether it be anger, sadness, or indifference, listen attentively, tell stories, and ask good questions.  Agree with them where you can, and explain with clarity where you cannot.  Illustrate your points well and schedule an apologetics trainings for your club members every once in a while to refresh yourself.  

 4. Follow up personally with the people who have signed up for your email list and invite them to the next meeting or club event.

This cannot be emphasized enough.  A day or two after your table, send a personal email to the student you spoke with, thank them for taking the time to chat with you, and invite them to your next meeting.  If you got along really well, why not suggest meeting up for coffee to tackle a bit further that interesting point they brought up?

5. Debrief with your club members.

Whether in between conversations, or soon after a day of tabling is done, debriefing about your conversations is so essential.  How else are you ever going to get better and spread the message as effectively as possible?  If you didn’t like how you said something, think about it some more, and come up with ways with your fellow club members you would have liked to say it instead.  

Ready? Set? GROW!

Have any stories about tabling on your campus?  Send us an email

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Think About What You Saw

By Clarissa Luluquisin, NCLN Central Campus Coordinator

I’ve been on staff with NCLN only a few short months now but I’ve quickly learned that my job follows me home – or even on weekend road trips. Last weekend, while in Washington DC, I visited the Holocaust Memorial Museum. I expected to be horrified and moved by the history I would see. I was, yet the hardest part of the experience was knowing that while the horrors of the Holocaust is a part of history, the slaughter of preborn Canadian children is all too current.

What particularly stood out to me was the propaganda the exhibit displayed, used to dehumanize the Jewish people and make their destruction possible. The propaganda also was directed to encourage all Germans to participate in Hitler’s vision of a united nation and an ideal race.

Nearing the end of the exhibit, I was overwhelmed with grief for the victims, but also felt a strange twinge of emotion for the ordinary people of Germany. I pitied them. They were not given the truth. They were fed with perverted truths and outright lies. Their bitterness and sentiments of loss resulting from World War I were twisted and used against them. It does not erase guilt, but it does illuminate their behavior.

The parallels to our own society’s acceptance of abortion immediately struck me. So many default to “choice” because it appeals to a politically correct notion of morality. After all, how does “choice” not sound like a good thing? They are fed with “my body, my choice”, “men have no say in this women’s issue”, and “it’s a lump of tissue”.  And so Canada allows the destruction of innocent life.

For me, the exhibit reaffirmed that the Holocaust, and the minds behind it, systematically sought the deliberate destruction of certain identifiable groups – primarily 6 million Jews. This was accomplished under the guise of a better Germany. But the Holocaust ended; yet, today, abortion seeks to deliberately destroy the preborn child – 41 million worldwide yearly – under the guise of “choice”.

The magnet I picked up at the museum’s store is what initially inspired this post in the first place:

The next time you witness hatred

The next time you see injustice

The next time you hear about genocide

Think about what you saw

Because of what I have seen, I am even more convinced.

Yet, as pro-lifers, we must do more than simply remember what we saw. We must be moved to action each time we see hatred and injustice. Pro-lifers must never cease to share truth with those caught in the current of ‘choice’. We must awaken our culture to the slaughter our society’s actions and apathy perpetuate.

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Introducing Clarissa, NCLN’s New Central Campus Coordinator

By Clarissa Luluquisin

It feels like only yesterday that I was a fourth-year student starting a new school year as President of University of Toronto Students for Life. I attended NCLN’s Annual Symposium in 2009, which gave me the necessary skills and strategies to spread the pro-life message on my campus. NCLN helped me cope with the pressures that came with being President, and continually inspired me to do more for my club. NCLN also helped provide me with opportunities to connect with other pro-life students and the pro-life community at large. Eventually, I came to realize that, “Yes, I can, and will be a voice for life!”

Clarissa, in purple, with students and alumni of the University of Toronto Students for Life.

I am so excited to be working full-time to support the pro-life message on university campuses with NCLN. I look forward to getting to know pro-life student leaders on campuses across Ontario, giving them the voice, hope, and courage that were given to me. The work we will do together is surely a path that will lead to building a culture of life in our country!

Feel free to contact me at central@ncln.ca. This position will be made possible through support raising my salary. If you are interested in helping me reach my support raising goal, please email me or make a donation online at www.ncln.ca/donate!

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New Staff at National Campus Life Network!

National Campus Life Network is pleased to announce that we have hired additional staff for two new positions within the organization.  The new full-time Central Campus Coordinator will work directly with the Ontario campus clubs and the part-time Western Assistant will strengthen our Western Office. These positions will allow us to more effectively support the pro-life message on Canadian campuses and have a greater impact on Canadian campuses.

Clarissa Luluquisin, who graduated from the University of Toronto in 2011, will be taking on the new Central Campus Coordinator position.  As the former President of the U of T Students for Life, she is enthusiastic about her new role supporting students across the province.  Since graduation she has also been active in volunteering for Toronto Right to Life and NCLN.

Kathleen Dunn, a recent graduate from Our Lady Seat of Wisdom Academy, is our new Western Assistant, and will be working part-time in B.C. with Anastasia Pearse, our Western Campus Coordinator.  Kathleen was the President of the Academy’s Pro-Life club for the past two years and also assisted in the coordination of last year’s De-Fund Abortion Rally in Toronto.  A recording artist, she has performed for events across Canada, including the National March for Life.  This upcoming school year Kathleen will be studying Theology at Trinity Western University in Langley, B.C.

The Assistant position was created to support Anastasia Pearse, who, along with her position as Western Campus Coordinator, will be starting a Masters in Leadership at Trinity Western University.  The Masters in Leadership program will equip Anastasia to support the continued strategic growth of NCLN.

Your help is needed

Both new positions are dependent on successful fundraising on the part of the new staff, and Kathleen and Clarissa will be looking for individuals to join them in their work as part of their support teams.  Please consider joining their support team by making a donation today.  Your support will lead to a stronger pro-life presence on campuses across Canada!

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